Many Chambers of Commerce, Cooperative Extension or local governments host leadership development programs to expand the base of leadership for their community. Community-based Leadership Development programs can have an immense impact in many areas of community life. Participants in the program should see personal growth benefits, business and organizations may see benefits of involvement through improved employee working relationships and productivity, and local government may benefit from increased resident involvement as volunteers and on committees, all resulting from participation in a leadership program. The level of impact in any of these areas, however, is determined by the design of the program to reach a specific intended outcome. Knowing the stakeholder’s priority desired outcomes from the program is the first step to selecting curriculum and designing the most effective leadership program for the community it serves.  This assessment will allow stakeholders to identify and rank the leadership skills and knowledge outcomes for a community-based leadership development program. 

Who Should Use this Assessment

This assessment is designed to assist the curriculum oversight team working with any community-based leadership development program. It is recommended for any entity overseeing the development and delivery of community-based leadership development programs. Download the assessment.

How to Use this Assessment

This assessment is a tool to gather prioritized feedback from people who have interest or investment in the leadership program. It is recommended that the leadership program planners identify the people whose feedback will be most connected to the future of the program. These stakeholders may include sponsors, local employers, elected officials, non-profit leadership, Chamber of Commerce members, civic groups, as well as leadership program presenters, hosts, and alumni. A guide to identifying stakeholders is available through CEDIK to assist you: Mapping Local Networks to Reach Stakeholders and Mobilize Resources.

The Community Leadership Priorities Assessment can be printed and distributed or shared online. It is recommended to create a cover letter or introductory email detailing the local leadership program, why this assessment is important, and how and when people can return the assessment.

Interpreting and Using the Results

The compiled results from this survey will give the local leadership planners a prioritization of leadership skills and topics most relevant to the stakeholders. The priorities should guide the selection of materials, activities and lesson content for integration into the local program to meet the identified priorities. Finding the right program emphasis may include how the learning is sequenced, adding or editing modules for specific priorities, or even designing separate programs to highlight and expand skill building for specific outcomes. For interpretation of the community results and assistance with identifying program resources, contact CEDIK.

About this Assessment

This assessment draws heavily from these publications:

Kenneth E. Pigg (1999). Community Leadership and Community Theory: A Practical Synthesis. Journal of the Community Development Society, 30:2, 196-212. DOI: 10.1080/15575339909489721

Pigg, K., Gasteyer, S., Martin, K., Apaliyah, G., & Keating, K. (2015). Community effects of leadership development education: Citizen empowerment for civic engagement. West Virginia University Press.

Assessment developed by Daniel Kahl, CEDIK Associate Director and Associate Professor, Department of Community and Leadership Development.